Chili, pretzel & salt Magnum

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I love chocolate, and I love ice-cream, so for me there’s nothing better than a Magnum. I’ve always loved their smooth velvety ice-cream with its crispy chocolate coating. During my trip to Florence, Italy I stumbled upon a Magnum restaurant where you could assemble your own creation. I, of course, had to try.

I chose the dark chocolate coating and jumped on the savory sweet wagon with a sprinkle of pretzel, salt and chili flakes. The pretzel and the salt worked wonderfully with the dark chocolate. The chili flakes on the other hand were too overpowering. My mouth felt like it was on fire.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 5

Mustard ice-cream

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For my 3rd anniversary my partner and I had an outrageous lunch at two Michelin starred restaurant Beluga in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The meal consisted of about ten courses with a major emphasis on fish and seafood.

There were quite a few modern techniques and interesting surprises throughout the meal, but the biggest surprise came when I bit into an ice-cream that turned out to be a mustard ice-cream. I’d never had a savory ice-cream before and of course mustard is a very strong and pungent flavor. The heat of the mustard and the cold of the ice-cream made a really unexpected contract that worked extremely well.

I’d never eaten at a Michelin-starred restaurant before, and I always wondered if a restaurant with a star really put up food that is so much “better” than other restaurants. It definitely is the case for Beluga. Not only is everything cooked to perfection and tastes amazing, it’s also full of surprises and is a feast for the eyes.

Fear Factor – n/a / Taste Test – 9

P.S. I can’t give it any score for Fear Factor as I didn’t know I was going to eat it.

Nitrogen ice-cream

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The great chef Ferran Adria is credited with revolutionizing food through science, creating molecular cooking and inspiring chefs like Heston Blumenthal, Grand Achatz and Alvin Leung. It seems like the Michelin starred restaurants of today are not complete without spheres, smoke, jellies, and foams. The go-to ingredient for these kind of chefs is liquid nitrogen.

During my trip in Bali, I was drawn in by an ice-cream parlor that makes its ice-cream on the spot using liquid nitrogen. That was something I had never tried before, because you can usually only find it as part of an expensive tasting menu. I asked the waiter to “cook” me up a batch of popcorn caramel ice-cream, and away he went.

Machines started whizzing, smoke started rising and after a few minutes my ice-cream was done. I was surprised at how good it turned out without churning. It had a great silky smooth texture. The taste was wonderful as well, sweet caramel topped with a handful of popcorn. I wish they’d started selling these here in China.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test 10

Yakult ice-cream

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Yakult is a probiotic dairy drink from Japan with added bacteria that’s said to be good for your digestion. I knew it because my dad used to drink it, but I never tried because the idea of fermented milk put me off. Then in Macau I came across an ice-cream parlor that served a Yakult ice-cream.

It makes sense to use Yakult, as ice-cream is dairy based, so I thought I’d give it a go. I was a little afraid it might be a tad too sour, but my fears were unjust. The ice-cream tasted exactly like frozen yoghurt. There really was no distinction. I happen to like frozen yoghurt, so I was happy with my choice. Maybe I should try drinking some real Yakult some time.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 8